Synopses & Reviews
WINNER of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
Washington Post "50 Notable Works of Nonfiction"
Science News "Favorite Science Books of 2018"
Booklist "Top Ten Science/Technology Book of 2018"
"A marvelously humor-laced page-turner about the science of semi-aquatic rodents.... A masterpiece of a treatise on the natural world." The Washington Post
In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America's lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of "Beaver Believers" — including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens — recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. Eager is a powerful story about one of the world's most influential species, how North America was colonized, how our landscapes have changed over the centuries, and how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Ultimately, it's about how we can learn to coexist, harmoniously and even beneficially, with our fellow travelers on this planet.
"Eager is a passionate, captivating love letter to the beaver." The Christian Science Monitor
"Lively and educational....Eager offers rare insight into the history of beavers and their behavior, qualities, and characteristics. Even more importantly, [it] explores the animals' complex relationship with humans, and the essential role they play in developing ponds and streams that support wildlife." Foreword Reviews
"This comprehensive book provides a well-rounded consideration of a frequently misunderstood species....Even if you don't think you have an opinion on beavers, this engaging book will make you a beaver believer." Library Journal
"In this diverting volume, environmental journalist Goldfarb sings the praises of beavers. . . . An affectionate portrait of these 'hardy rodents.' Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Ben Goldfarb is an award-winning environmental journalist who covers wildlife conservation, marine science, and public lands management, as well as an accomplished fiction writer. His work has been featured in Science, Mother Jones, The Guardian, High Country News, VICE, Audubon Magazine, Modern Farmer, Orion, World Wildlife Magazine, Scientific American, Yale Environment 360, and many other publications. He holds a master of environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is a 2018 North American Congress for Conservation Biology journalist fellow.